Tether, issuer of the $83 billion USDT stablecoin, has invested an undisclosed amount in payment processor firm CityPay.io, according to a Wednesday press release.
CityPay.io added USDT as payment option for users in over 600 locations including restaurants, shops and hotels in the Caucasian country of Georgia, Tether tweeted. CityPay.io linked to Binance Pay, the payment arm of the world’s largest crypto exchange, allowing purchases with cryptocurrencies earlier this year, Binance tweeted.
Tether’s investment is in line with a new plan to allocate a part of its excess profits to purchase bitcoin (BTC) and venture into infrastructure, payments and communication projects. The company reported almost $1.5 billion in net profit for the first quarter. Earlier this week, Tether also announced an investment in sustainable energy production and bitcoin mining in Uruguay.
Stablecoins are a key piece of plumbing in the crypto ecosystem, bridging government-issued currencies and facilitating trading. Issuers are increasingly boosting stablecoins as a means for payments and remittances, especially in the developing world. Recently, Bitcoin-based payments app Strike integrated USDT as part of its global expansion to 65 countries. Earlier, rival stablecoin issuer Circle teamed up with payment firm Block’s (SQ) subsidiary TBD to offer remittance payments using its own stablecoin, USDC.
Paolo Ardoino, Tether’s chief technology officer, said in a podcast episode with The Block that USDT is increasingly used for value transfers, making up about 40% of all token usage, compared to 60% of crypto trading.